14 Apr April 2023
Did you know since 1987, the Smith Mountain Lake community has held a lake clean-up event called Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake (TPISML)?
The Tri-County Lake Administrative Commission (TLAC), the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce (SMLRCC), and the Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA) have jointly coordinated the TPISML cleanup event. If you’re counting, that would be thirty-seven years of community members and people who enjoy the lake coming together to keep SML the Jewel of the Blue Ridge.
The event returns, for the thirty-fifth time, in 2023 with its hybrid model. Instead of taking place on one weekend, the hybrid model includes structured events at various marinas and locations around the lake, planned for May 6, May 13 and May 20 (the first three Saturdays in May 2023). In addition, neighborhood groups, businesses, families, civic organizations and others may participate in any of the organized events or plan their own TPISML cleanup for any date in May.
The last three years of the TPISML event were greatly affected by COVID. In 2020, the event suffered its second-ever cancellation (the first in 2002 after 9-11). Although the event returned in 2021 and 2022, the amount of woody debris and trash collected (about 20 tons over two years) fell short of our last pre-COVID total of 42 tons in 2019. This year, we hope to reach our pre-COVID numbers once again and add to our more than 1,330 tons since 1996.
If you love the lake, we want you to be part of this event! You are welcome to participate alone, however, we know from experience that participating with others is not only more fun, but you tend to collect more debris. So, grab a neighbor, friend, family members, or that social group you belong to and commit to TPISML in May. Civic groups looking for a location to adopt, should contact Kristina Sage at email@example.com.
You can pre-register for the event at takepridesml.com. By registering, you receive free gloves, orange trash bags, and a commemorative reusable tote. You can also arrange to borrow a set of waders if you’d rather not get wet. We’ll also register you for the post-event celebration at Mango’s Bar & Grill later in May.
Dumpsters will be stationed around the lake each Saturday. For example, you will find dumpsters at Crazy Horse and Magnum Point Marinas on May 6, and Gills Creek & Waterwheel Marinas on May 13 (a full list is available online). Your orange trash bags as well as large debris that doesn’t fit in a bag can be placed in any event dumpster.
Your group of ten or more participants – like a homeowner’s association or a civic group – can also take advantage of our dumpster reimbursement program (up to $400 to cover the cost of the dumpster and dumping fees). More information on the reimbursement is available on the event website.
The event is possible due to the people who participate and because of the generous donations of the event sponsors: American Electric Power, Western Virginia Water Authority, Berkshire Hathaway, Turner’s Building, The Windward, and Capps.
Help us keep SML the Jewel of the Blue Ridge